basic c&C

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ucddyan, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. ucddyan

    ucddyan TPF Noob!

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    Hello there,

    This is my first time posting photos and I'd really like to get better but I'm embarrassed with my photos in general so I'll post the ones I think are really good. I'm fine with harsh criticism because I'd really like to get better. I know I need to work on composition, that's hard for a scientist who's used to protocol, but I'd like critique on other aspects as well. I'm working with a Nikon D200 and the 18-200mm Nikkor AF/S zoom lens. I'm mostly interested in landscape (but of course there composition is key) and I also love to take pictures of people with genuine expressions on their faces (which is why I love weddings so much). I don't like using the on-camera flash which is all I have, so that's why the high noise and crappy exposure of the second shot, and none of these photos have gone through any post-processing. I really like the photo with the group hug, but how could I have composed that one better - I know I need to get out of the "snapshot" mindset where I frame everyone in the center, but how could an off-the-cuff moment like that in that setting have been a better photo?


    First, taken at a wedding:
    [​IMG]

    Second, taken at another wedding:
    [​IMG]

    Third at the same wedding as above:
    [​IMG]

    And at Emerald Bay at Lake Tahoe:
    [​IMG]


    Thank you for any C&C. In general, if I work on this, do you think I might have the potential to be a professional of some capacity in the future (like for weddings and portraits - and i mean in the distant future)?
    [​IMG]
     
  2. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    #1 as you said, centering the subject is not always the best thing to do. But depending on the background, it might be a better choice.
    Seems that you missed the focus on the most important part of the portrait, the person's eyes. Colours are nice, exposure is good. I don't like the person on the left of the image... they were moving when you took this, hence the blur.

    #2 you have a bit too much dead space over her head. As you said, the exposure is a bit dark. Did you shoot this in RAW? You might be able to adjust in Photoshop or some similar program. I would of framed the picture a bit lower to get more of her hand and the glass in the image and less of the top

    #3 seems more like snapshot taken quickly. I really don't like how the person in the front is moving and blurred and the other people around are distracting in the image. I would of zoomed closer in to get a more intimate feel. You also cut off blurry woman's hand. Exposure is ok.

    #4 Not sure I like the angle of this. Again, a bit too much sky in the picture. If there were clouds or something interesting, it might be appropriate, but I find there is too much top, not enough bottom in the image. Try a slower shutter speed with the water to get a more fluid look to it. You would need a tripod I believe.

    Can't tell if you can be a pro in the future by these. Actually, its hard to tell with anyone's images. Keep practicing, read books on exposure and composition, practice what you read. Or take a class, find a mentor and apprentice.

    With these pictures alone, and no creative/artistic progression, I would not hire you.
     
  3. ucddyan

    ucddyan TPF Noob!

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    #3 is a snapshot taken quickly, but I wanted to capture the moment. When you only have a second or less to take a picture, how do you deal with taking a good photo vs a snapshot? Is this something that you just have to learn over time?
     
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    #2. For the on camera flash, put it in manual (menu e3) and set the power down to 1/64 and keep it there as a starting point, don't forget the inverse square law. Frankly, I would think a scientist would take to flash like a duck to water since it's technical.

    #3. It's good you have them centered beccasue the barrel distortion of the 18-200 at the short end sucks. Admittedly, I not a fan of that lens. Bigtwinky is right that zooming in would have made better a image PLUS it would have mitigated the barrel distortion so you could have been more creative with the composition.

    One last note.

    When you have a nice big camera and lens like that, If you seem confident and are a bit assertive people will usually do as you ask if you give them some direction to adjust a pose or to look in a different direction, or so you can chimp a shot quickly, adjust your flash output, and take another shot, like for #2 perhaps.

    Certainly, it helps if you're intimately familiar with the layout of your camera's menu's and controls.

    Sell that 18-200 and get a couple of better lenses to cover that focal range. :lol::lol:
     
  5. adamwilliamking

    adamwilliamking TPF Noob!

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    I could be wrong but;
    To me it looks like you took these shots using the automatic setting in your camera.
    Not to bash using auto but in this case your camera is metering the whole scene and giving you a weird indoor type of exposure. If you get out of auto and set your metering to single point, you can point your AF at what you want to be properly exposed. This will make for much better exposures in this indoor situation, in my opinion.
     
  6. ucddyan

    ucddyan TPF Noob!

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    Thanks to everyone for the feedback!

    KmH - I do know how to use the flash on the camera, but in that particular situation I was taking a picture through about 5 other people, it was zoomed in all the way and the flash didn't reach (but it lit up everyone's backs nicely!). I also had not noticed the barrel distortion until you mentioned it so I'll definitely keep an eye out for it in the future. (I don't usually take pictures in wide angle with that lens, and I know it's not a great lens but it's the lens I've got! What lenses would you suggest, in a consumer price range?)

    adamwilliamking - I was using auto mode for photos #2 and #3. I'm not fast with changing the settings yet. I move out of "P" mode when time isn't an issue. Thanks a lot for the advice on the metering!
     
  7. LarryD

    LarryD TPF Noob!

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    Perhaps you need to rethink your approach.................. You will find that Pros are not usually shy about getting right in there where the photo is composed the best for them...and they are also not shy about using a flash...

    While your photos are OK for the occasion, they all suffer from either movement because of slow shutter speeds, or dark faces because of lack of fill light...

    AS for the landscape... you have the tallest pine directly in one of the "golden triangle" primaries... this means that the eye first focuses on the tree as a subject, rather than the beautiful lake or island.. this one could have used a few more steps up the hill, and maybe a couple of steps closer to the edge...use your feet to position yourself to best advantage before composing in the frame..

    As for being a pro........sure, why not, that's pretty much a personal decision on your part.... but you need to get the technique down, and not be afraid to take hundreds of shots so that you can have a few winners.... every shot a pro cranks out is not right on..
     

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